I wasn’t sure what to expect when I read this with my daughter. I’m not seven years old anymore and so much of the literary nonsense in this book has passed into common usage (“mad as a hatter”, “the queen of hearts” and so forth) and it’s all such a big part of our cultural landscape (“one pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small” – Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit“, in case you were wondering) that I wasn’t sure I’d really be able to appreciate it. I was wrong.
I was really surprised by how little I had to explain to my daughter. She just “got” all the silliness and loved it and it was great fun to read together:
“Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn’t one?” Alice asked.
“We called him Tortoise because he taught us,” said the Mock Turtle angrily: “really you are very dull!”
It is nonsense, but wonderful nonetheless.
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